Antoine Marfan

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Antoine Marfan; portrait by Henry Bataille

Antoine Bernard-Jean Marfan (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃twan bɛʁnaʁ ʒɑ̃ maʁfɑ̃]; June 23, 1858 – February 11, 1942) was a French pediatrician.

He was born in Castelnaudary (département Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon) to Antoine Prosper Marfan and Adélaïde Thuries.[1] He began his medical studies in Toulouse, where he stayed for two years before moving to Paris. He graduated in 1886, his education having been interrupted by a period of military service. In 19he became a professor of infantile hygiene in the pediatric clinic of the University of Paris. During the same year, he became a member of the Académie de Médecine.

In 1896, Marfan described a hereditary disorder of connective tissue that was to become known as Marfan syndrome,[2] the term first being used by Henricus Jacobus Marie Weve (1888–1962) of Utrecht in 1931. Today, it is thought that Marfan's patient (a five-year-old girl named Gabrielle) was affected by a condition known as congenital contractural arachnodactyly, and not Marfan's syndrome.[3]

Loeys–Dietz syndrome is a connective tissue disease that has features similar to those of Marfan syndrome.[4]

Further eponymous medical conditions named after Antoine Marfan include:

  • Dennie–Marfan syndrome
  • Marfan's hypermobility syndrome
  • Marfan's law
  • Marfan's sign
  • Marfan's symptom
  • Marfan–Madelung syndrome

Marfan also had interests in the pediatric aspects of tuberculosis, nutrition and diphtheria. With Jacques-Joseph Grancher (1843–1907) and Jules Comby (1853–1947), he was co-author of Traité des maladies de l’enfance. From 1913 to 1922, he was publisher of the journal Le Nourrisson.


  1. ^ Historia de la medicina - Antoine Marfan (Spanish)
  2. ^ Marfan, Antoine (1896). "Un cas de déformation congénitale des quartre membres, plus prononcée aux extrémitiés, caractérisée par l'allongement des os avec un certain degré d'amincissement" [A case of congenital deformation of the four limbs, more pronounced at the extremities, characterized by elongation of the bones with some degree of thinning]. Bulletins et memoires de la Société medicale des hôspitaux de Paris. 13 (3rd series): 220–226. 
  3. ^ Antoine Marfan - biography @ Who Named It
  4. ^ Loeys–Dietz syndrome

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